Yes, It Is Possible To Deal with Difficult People
Do you ever encounter people in your life that you positively can’t stand? Do you feel that they cause you to be angry, upset, bitter and unhappy or can you step back away from the situation and recognize that you are letting them make you angry, upset and unhappy? Who is in control of your feelings, you or the difficult people?
Let’s look at some strategies that can be helpful in dealing with these individuals.
I think that it is helpful to remember that you can please a few people much of the time, many people some of the time, but that there are a few people that you can never please.
If you want everybody to like you, accept you, or love you, be prepared for disappointments. Give up these goals, or be prepared for disappointments.
Empathic words can often produce a calming effect. “I am sorry that you are unhappy with this situation.” “What you are telling me makes me think you are pretty upset.” Or, “It must be difficult to feel like you are feeling now.”
Empathetic messages indicate that you hear the senders and care about their concerns.
Avoid falling into the trap of dueling with difficult people for control and power. This approach is often a no-win situation. The struggle can escalate until you are playing on their battlefield.
They may finally make you angry and upset enough to lose your focus and say things that you don’t mean.
Remember that other people may be displacing anger, pain and unhappiness on you because you are available, or in the wrong place at the wrong time.
They may be battling problems of their own that you don’t even know about. Rather than let them get under your skin, recognize that you can and will choose not to take this message personally.
Try to limit your time around difficult people when they are acting disagreeably.
We all have different personalities, come from different life experiences, different cultures and have developed different perspectives about things in our lives. Why then would we expect everyone else to act like we do, see things the way we do, and agree with all of our views?
I sometimes like to say, “We are all wired by the same Maker but not all wired alike.”
In time and using the right strategies, it is not uncommon for the difficult personalities to become people whose presence you actually enjoy.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2011